Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Acronym Soup

I have a lot of acronyms bouncing around in the braincase today: GU, GLU, GLUE, GUM, GUI

• GU = Global Understanding; the name of the ideal to foster mutual understanding on a worldwide basis to create peaceful progressive pluralistic societies.

• GUM = the Global Understanding Movement; the international group of people who hold to the propagation of the ideals of Global Understanding. Used when we treat the GU movement (with a little “m”) as a more formal term and organizing principle.

• GLU = Global Learning & Understanding; an alternative acronym to describe what we wish to foster as part of the movement. Suggested by Dana Lombardy at Pacificon 2008. I see Dana’s point. As interested and concerned citizens of the world, we wish for others to learn about the world. To understand it shall require education, both formal and informal. Even games will teach people about the world around them. Without learning, how can we understand?

• GLUE = Global Learning, Understanding & Education: My own next-step extension of the acronym. If for no other reason to create a harmony by spelling the word properly. Logically, if we have properly learned about the world in which we live, and understood what we have learned, we can then turn to our global neighbors and educate others. This makes the ideals for global understanding spin in a full cycle of learning from others, integrating into ourselves, and teaching others.

Sticking in the Brain

I see merits. I also see more domains and blog namespaces I’d need to grab. I don’t wish to be an intellectual glutton. And already, I have problems even securing the namespace for Global Understanding.

So for now, I’ll toss out some ideas about why these various acronyms are stuck in my brain, like the alphabet soup floating around the dog’s brain in “Martha Speaks.” (“Oh ho! This is gonna be fun!”)

GLU/GLUE (“glue”) and GU (“goo”) are both sticky, viscous, fluid substances. Things stick together with glue, whereas goo? Goo can be anything, I suppose. Toxic waste, or life-saving salve.

My own thoughts lean more to the simple “GU.” Two letter acronyms are powerful. Especially those with “U” in them. UN. US. UK. UL. The “U” brings to mind the symbol for “Union” in set theory.

“G” is a curious letter. According to my favorite Wikipedia, it was invented in 230 BC by Spurius Carvilius Ruga, who opened Rome’s first fee-paying school.

Yet “UG” doesn’t sound as harmoniously poetic as “GU.”

“UG” would rhyme with pug, and tug, and mug, and the Lovecraftian monster, the gug. It sounds like something a caveman would say, or something you’d utter while being piled on by a high school football team. Gutteral (albeit “Gu” shows up in an alliterative manner in Gutteral).

“GU” rhymes with new, and zoo, and cue, queue, blue, flu, flue, true, “Ooo!” and you. It sounds more facile, happier, wonder-filled. More sophisticated, without being sophist. Lyrical.

As far as poetic alliteration, we have some odd and sublime uses: Gutteral, Gun, Gurney, Guenevere, Gustav, and so on.

Strangely, Gu is also the name of a god, according to Wikipedia, though the name is more popularly rendered as Ogoun. He is a god of fire, iron, politics and war, worshipped in Haiti and amongst the Yoruba people of West Africa. According to Wikipedia:
“He gives strength through prophecy and magic. It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea, led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. He is called now to help people obtain a government more responsive to their needs.”
Perhaps, 202 years after the Haitian Revolution, Gu asked Karl John to start the Global Understanding movement. Perhaps 2 years later, I also heard this, and began the Global Understanding Institute.

So much for spinning ideas around the Two Letter Acronym variant of GU. Let’s move on.

Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) are also good, yet are different. Like a government agency. Hence I created the Global Understanding Institute (GUI).

I wanted something that sounded foundational, in a tip of the cap to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. But rather than “go private” as good ol’ Harry Seldon decided to do, as a scientist who did not want to interfere with the outcome of his grand experiment, I wanted to go public. Specifically because I wished to draw attention to the crises we face, and to engage in positive social dialog before we condemn ourselves to a thousand year period of galactic darkness. I don’t wish to be a Mule to control the fate of humanity.

I wish to be a humanitarian who got us all around the game table of the world, and helped arrange a better possible win-win for as many humans as we can manage in the 21st Century, along with all the animal and plant species and natural habitats we can preserve and steward.

The game theories and social sciences and arts which underly the Global Understanding Institute are, and will be, a scaled down version of the postulated psychohistory of Foundation. Those sciences were predicated for utility only on a large scale: a planet or galaxy. The maths, arts, sciences, game theory and engineering principles we’ll use at the GUI need to be appropriate for 1 person, and need to scale up to 6 billion people presently, towards a possible 10-100 billion for the next few centuries. Somewhere in that order of magnitude.

I suppose we could say the GU movement, and the GUI, are committed to Global Learning & Understanding (GLU), or, to spell it fully and make it a full-cycle process, Global Learning, Understanding & Education (GLUE).

But as you can see, we are now bantering semantics rather than doing work. I like GU for the overall movement (GU movement, or GUM). Then GUI for the non-profit foundation to act as an organizing principle for the movement.

GLU and/or GLUE sounds good too. I just don’t know how to use them yet, and haven’t integrated them into my thinking fully. I also don’t want to begin a slippery-slope of grabbing all the possible acronyms in the universe, and diverting the namespace of the organizing principle across too many splinter ideas and thoughts just yet.

Like the young children that Martha Speaks is aimed at, I want to keep this simple, positive, and upbeat for now. I’ll make more combinations of letters and words in the future. For now, I just wanted to share these with you, my readers, and get some feedback.


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